Supporters of the Senate plan include Stephani Scruggs, the director of field operations in Florida for Donald Trump's presidential campaign, whose husband suffers from epilepsy.
When Stephani Scruggs tried to speak at a Senate committee meeting on medical marijuana last week, her husband suffered an epileptic seizure and was taken away in a wheelchair.
This week, she was his voice at final committee hearings on bills to regulate medical marijuana to implement a constitutional amendment passed in November.
Scruggs thanked the Senate for its work on Tuesday, though she said changes had to be made to improve access and allow patients to use their marijuana in public, especially in emergencies.
n Monday, she admonished the House panel to stop thinking of medical marijuana patients as “a bunch of stoners and hippies.”
She and her husband, Michael Bowen, are not stoners or hippies.
Scruggs started her political career as head writer for ultraconservative Alan Keyes. In the past election, she was the director of field operations in Florida for Donald Trump. Her husband, Michael Bowen, served as a senior adviser.
“To say we’re a part of the religious right would be an understatement,” she said.
And she likens conservative support for medical marijuana to support for Trump.
“Most of the people that we spoke to even on the conservative side were like, ‘we’re with you, but we don’t want to tell our friends because we’re afraid our friends might judge us,’” she said. “But the fact is 71 percent of people voted for this amendment — those weren’t all Democrats.”
She said her biggest problem with the proposals remains the prohibition of administering medical marijuana in public.
“You’re basically putting myself and other caregivers in the position of whether I want to give him medicine and get arrested or watch my husband die,” she said.
Under the proposals, Scruggs could be charged with a misdemeanor if her husband has a seizure in public and she gives him cannabis oil or another marijuana treatment.
The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Senate’s medical marijuana plan easily, with only one senator voting no.
“The bottom line is, they’ve got to do the will of the people,” Scruggs said.
Scruggs and other supporters of the constitutional amendment prefer the Senate version, which does not offer as many restrictions as in the House.
The Senate version allows edibles and vaping, while the House does not. And it would result in more treatment center licenses in the state as the number of medical marijuana patients grows.
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